My “Scott & Jean”: You Can’t Spell “Dark Knight Detective” Without “Dark” and “Detective”

Yeah, so this is it, cats and kittens: The Big Secret Final Invasion War of the Clone Crisis Saga Blog Crossover Event.  Or, as we like to call it, “What’s Your ‘Scott & Jean’?”  For those new to the party (where the hell have you been, anyway?), your “Scott & Jean” is your geek sacred cow–the one thing that you are so passionate about that you just can not discuss it rationally.

I was trying to think of a logical introduction for this extravaganza, when one of my fellow Crossover bloggers pointed out that the very notion of a “Scott & Jean” eschews logic and, therefore, I should just feel free to rant.  So, here goes:

I love Batman.

There’s really no other way to put it.  I don’t mean I want to have Batman’s babies…well, mostly (but, let’s be honest: Batman’s one true love is Justice, so what chance do I really have?  Unless Talia has some spare Wayne-gravy laying around).  When I was a little kid, I had Batman action figures, Batman Matchbox cars, a Batman cape–please note: I did not say a “superhero cape”, this was a Batman cape…this sumbitch was scalloped.  One of the first superhero comics I ever bought was Detective Comics #603.

Anyway, my point is this: I.  Love.  Batman.

But, y’see, it’s really not that simple, especially when you’re dealing with a character who’s about to hit his 70th anniversary.  In the past seven decades, there have been numerous interpretations of the character.  Some good.  Some bad.  But only one correct one.

That’s right.  You heard what I said: for me, there is only one correct way to portray Batman.  (Hey, I warned you this was going to be a logic-free zone.)

First of all, Batman is dark and broody.  He watched his parents get gunned down when he was a little kid, for Christ’s sake…you’d be a bit cranky, too.  This is the point when “my Batman” kinda snapped.  He’s driven by this event.  He devotes his entire life to both avenging his parents’ murder and making sure that no one in Gotham City ever has to suffer the same kind of tragedy.  He figures this out on his own.  He doesn’t need Joey-effing-Potter to clue him in.  So, when you take into account that he’s a guy who watched his folks get gunned down in an alley, you can understand why these are just wrong:

adam-west-as-batmanbatman-and-robin-merchandise-and-collectiblesbatman-and-robin-costumesbatman-toys-and-games3

batmanbraveboldtv

This, however, is more like it:

batman_animated_new_look

I’ll get to all those non-Batman people hanging around Ol’ Bats in a second.

Now, we’ve established that the right tone for Batman is dark and broody.  His costume is to be dark to reflect this: black or dark grey bodysuit with either uber-dark blue or black boots, gloves, cape and cowl.  Accept no substitutes.  This guy runs around at night, why the hell would he wear bright blue anything?  He doesn’t smile.  He rarely jokes.  If he ever utters the word “chum”, he better be talking about shark fishing.

You’re probably asking yourself, why the hell would someone like that go out of their way to surround themselves with friends and associates?  Now you’re catching on, Eugene: my Batman does not have friends and associates.  With the exception of loyal Alfred (who’s been on thin-ice a few times, himself), my Batman is too practical and paranoid to worry about something as useless as friends.  Friends don’t keep the criminal scum off the streets.  No.  But, tools do.  If Batman spends more than five seconds in your company, he clearly needs you for something and, when that task has been accomplished, you better get the hell outta Gotham, because Bats doesn’t take kindly to interlopers in “his city.”  Oh, and you better not expect a “Good job” or a “Thanks, pal”…Batman doesn’t have time for that, crime’s afoot.  Oh, and did I mention he’s a paranoid freak?  Odds are, if you can run faster than the speed of light or bend steel in your bare hands, he has a file on how to take you out should you ever “go bad.”  What’s that you say?  What about Robin and Batgirl?  Please.  The second they mouth off or show the slightest bit of independent thought, my Batman brooms his sidekick and gets another pliable young mind to warp.

My Batman is also a freakin’ genius.  He’s called the “Dark Knight Detective” for a reason.  Hello, he premiered in a book called DETECTIVE Comics.  Did Bruce Wayne study martial arts?  Sure.  But, he also studied criminology, psychology, forensic science.  He’s been trained as an escape artist and a master of disguise.  Christopher Nolan will have us believe that Batman is just some thug in a cape who beats the snot out of gangsters and needs Morgan Freeman’s help to come up with an antidote for Scarecrow’s fear gas.  Um, no.  Sorry, Mr. Nolan, but you are wrong.  Batman does not need anyone’s help coming up with an antidote.  He can come up with an antidote in his sleep, while he does the crossword puzzle and designs a new Batmobile.  Why?  Because Batman is a freakin’ genius!  That’s it.  End of story.  And do you know what else Batman can do?  He can break into a skyscraper all by his lonesome, as well, thank you very much.  I don’t care if it’s in Hong Kong.  I don’t care if it’s on the Moon.  He’ll get there, he’ll break in, and he’ll do it without your help.

Finally, if it hasn’t been made clear by this point, only Bruce Wayne can be Batman.  I don’t care what hack writer DC throws at us…what dumb-ass “event” sends Bruce Wayne back in time or to Never-Never Land or wherever the bloody hell we’re expected to believe Batman’s been sent…Tim?  Dick?  Jason?  They are not, nor ever will be, Batman.  Only Bruce Wayne can be Batman, because Batman is Bruce Wayne.  The Wayne persona is the mask that Batman wears to conceal his identity, not vice versa.

That’s who Batman is.  It’s who he’s always been.  It’s who he’ll always be.  If a writer or an artist portrays Batman in any other way, they’re wrong.  End of story.  Thanks for playing.

Here endeth the rant.

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22 responses to “My “Scott & Jean”: You Can’t Spell “Dark Knight Detective” Without “Dark” and “Detective”

  1. “If he ever utters the word “chum”, he better be talking about shark fishing.”

    Bwahahaha! That’s funny. I keep wanting to reply with my own Batman-related opinions, but that’s truly not the point of this meme.

  2. I agree with pretty much everything you said there! Our Scott & Jeans (which, as I have no blog, I will probably write about on the FF’s blog) are pretty much the same thing!

  3. You know, I think you hit the nail on the head of why I just can’t get into Batman: TB&TB. I’ve watched a few episodes, and it isn’t like they weren’t enjoyable or fun, but I just couldn’t shake the “something’s not right” feeling. Maybe the problem is that it would be a perfectly acceptable thing if that were some other hero and not Batman.

    I don’t have as much of a problem with Nolan’s take on the character, because of the limitations of a 2-3 hour film, but I see your point there as well. He’s no Bond, who needs a Q to invent gadgets.

    That’s what’s always been great about Batman to me, he’s not the best because he was born a superhero or because some freak accident made him gave him new abilities. He’s the best because he worked to be the best at everything, because he had to be the best.

    And now I’ve talked way to much about your Scott and Jean.

  4. Pingback: My Scott and Jean: The Master List | alert nerd.

  5. Well done, Dan. Howver, I have to curse you for creating the phrase “Wayne-gravy”, that one’s going to be stuck in my head for a while.

  6. Heeheehee. I get really sick of the different versions of Batman when there’s only one crazy asshole I want responding to the bat signal.

    “Oh, and did I mention he’s a paranoid freak? Odds are, if you can run faster than the speed of light or bend steel in your bare hands, he has a file on how to take you out should you ever “go bad.””

    I’m cackling and in one hundred percent agreement right there. And it ought to be noted here that “go bad” is entirely up to Batman’s definition. I like the Batman that accidentally helps to bring about a Crisis by being overly paranoid about everything on the entire planet best, and I do like the movies a lot, but the crazy, smart and uber-detecting bastard in the comics is always where it’s at.

    Random: My favorite Bruce Wayne scenes are ones where he’s shirtless and wounded, not because I’m a nasty pervert, but because I really, really love seeing the evidence of how dementedly devoted this guy is.

    Well done, sir, and I don’t think you came off as incoherently ranty anywhere. Coherently ranty, yes, but in a SMART way. Awesome Scott and Jean.

  7. But what about Bat mite? Surely he’s the natural successor to Wayne? Or maybe Ace?

  8. Great comments everyone, thanks.

    @Caroline Yeah, I was particularly proud of the shark fishing line, if I may say so myself.

    @Margot I adjusted my comment about his sidekicks in the FF comments. He’s just so darned easy to disappoint.

    @Craig I’ve never been able to watch more than 1 or 2 minutes of BRAVE & THE BOLD. It slides right off my brain.

    @Jason That was a last minute addition at about 11pm last night. I came up with that gem back during the “Batman and Son” storyline, I don’t get nearly enough chances to use it.

    @Kristina No…you *are* a nasty perv, but that’s why we like you. And, yeah, it’s totally up to Bruce to decide when someone’s “gone bad” and it usually involves them doing something he just doesn’t like.

    @Dan Bat-Mite? I…I just…I…*grrr-snap* 🙂

  9. I thought of my Scott and Jean. Well, I thought of two, but one makes me more angry than the other. I don’t know if I’ll have time to write about it tonight, though. Hmmmm. I’ll let you know.

  10. What a great post! 🙂

    *lowers voice* Would you hate me if I told you I quite liked it when Dick was Batman for a while…? *g*

  11. @Ashley I say “Release the fury!”

    @Karen Hate you? Hmm…no, I guess not. “Prodigal” was a pretty good storyline, but since then (if not even before) Dick’s been trying so hard to be his own man. And that’s admirable.

  12. @Dan One of the things I loved about Prodigal was Dick trying being Batman and then making the decision that it wasn’t for him.

  13. Okay, so I accidentally wrote a huge post.

  14. Nicely done, Dan! I’ve never felt a deep connection to Batman, so he’s one character I actually have few concrete opinions on. Therefore, I’m just going to say you are RIGHT.

  15. I don’t really have feelings on Batman one way or the other, but you make a very compelling case.

    Also, my feelings on Captain America are just as firm and unyielding as your thoughts on Batman, and could merit an entire “Scott and Jean” post of their own, so I’m totally with you on the spirit of the thing. When you’ve devoted so much time and energy to one particular character, you form very solid opinions, and pity the fool who tries to contradict them.

  16. …………Jeez….who knew…..??? You’ve managed to keep that under control…nice one Danno….

  17. Agree with everything except the Batman who doesn’t need anyone for his war on crime. You think Batman knows everything? He knows almost everything, anything he doesn’t know he’d learn but there’s no way he’d know everything. That’s how come having help from Lucius in creating some of his tools works. It’s not that he can’t do it, it’s that sometimes having all that money and having someone help you out occassionally (in your only 24 hours day) with it, does come out in his favor.
    My Scott-Jean thing also has to do with Batman and you mentioned a few but one in particular that is mine is the lack of stupidity I demand in his world. No kids running around with him. No kids running around at all in his city with the idea of fighting crime. He would never condone such stupidity. If he were to have a Robin, it’d be one with dimmer colors at the age of Dick in the BTAS. No BTAS Tim Drake, no Teen Titans Tim Drake. No.
    This is Gotham City, home to the Joker. They could not possibly coexist without undermining the mythos.
    Peace

  18. I’m in awe of your movie review website… You’re fantastically hilarious!

    -Anonymous Ugly American-

  19. “Christopher Nolan will have us believe that Batman is just some thug in a cape who beats that snot out of gangsters and needs Morgan Freeman’s help to come up with an antidote for Scarecrow’s fear gas. Um, no. Sorry, Mr. Nolan, but you are wrong. Batman does not need anyone’s help coming up with an antidote. He can come up with an antidote in his sleep, while he does the crossword puzzle and designs a new Batmobile. Why? Because Batman is a freakin’ genius! That’s it. End of story. And do you know what else Batman can do? He can break into a skyscraper all by his lonesome, as well, thank you very much. I don’t care if it’s in Hong Kong. I don’t care if it’s on the Moon. He’ll get there, he’ll break in, and he’ll do it without your help.”

    That was awesome. great job.

  20. The Dick Grayson persona is the one that Batman will wear now. I think that reasoning explains perfectly well why someone else can be the skin for Batman to live in for awhile.

  21. Pingback: Go, Wests! My True Geek Confession « Faust’s Fantastically Fantasmagoric Forum

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